To the Editor:
As Northern Illinois University ushers in a new administration, how can we move forward together?
During my decade working at the university, I have heard this question asked repeatedly. After terrible tragedies beyond our control; when the state cuts our budget; when mistakes by employees cast us in a negative light.
It seems every time the university starts to gain momentum, we are dealt a major setback, and each time it is harder to get ahead again.
Unfortunately, this has eroded our campus climate. Negativity is spread almost gleefully throughout the community, and people waste incredible amounts of the university's money and colleagues' time in pursuit of tearing NIU down.
This has to stop. Right now, a few negative voices are drowning out the positive things going on at NIU and holding back the dedicated employees who care passionately about the university.
Those negative voices don't speak for all of us. They dont even speak for a majority, not by a long shot.
If we are going to survive as an institution, we need positive voices to be louder. We should be talking about our incredible students, alumni and award-winning faculty and staff, as well as the innovative NIU Plus programs, internship program, diversity and inclusion efforts, P-20 network and community college partnerships.
We should spread the word about Program Prioritization and how the university is moving to be more fiscally responsible and transparent.
Let's make the most of this new beginning and build trust with the new administration and board members through mutual respect and constructive and transparent communication.
What many don't realize is every negative comment made and every piece of gossip spread around the community means we will lose students, and we will lose donors. And then we all lose.
I'll lay it out there: If university employees want to continue to have jobs, if the community wants to keep its greatest economic asset alive, we'd better start convincing people of NIU's greatness.
I encourage my colleagues and fellow community members to stop wasting energy, time and resources on sensationalism and direct it somewhere constructive. Nothing will change the past. Start amplifying your positivity.
Let's help this institution shine and get the message about NIU's excellence out there so loudly that people wont be able to help but listen.
NIU Operating Staff Council
Web Team Manager